FAQ's   :   Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of hardwood over other flooring alternatives?

• No other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of wood. Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room, and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years.

Maintenance of today’s wood floors is easy! New technology in stains and finishes call for regular cleaning that takes little more than sweeping and/or vacuuming, with occasional use of a professional wood floor cleaning product.

• Wood floors are ecologically friendly. Since it is a natural resource, wood is both renewable and recyclable. Many of yesteryear’s old wood ships, warehouses, barns, and other structures often find a second life in wood flooring. And, because wood does not collect dust and other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home.

• Today’s wood floors are affordable. We understand that the initial costs of hardwood floors may be higher than other competing floor coverings but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that can last as long and still maintain the beauty and value of hardwood floors. Unlike other flooring options that begin to look tired and worn out and need to be replaced after a few years, wood floors will last a lifetime.

• Today there are more styles, colors, and species of wood flooring available than ever before. Whether you’re looking for traditional Oak, rustic Pine, exotic Wenge or trendy Bamboo, you’re sure to find a color and style to fit your décor.

How much do your services cost?

--We offer a top-coat service that costs $1.50 a square foot. This service is recommended every 3 to 5 years depending on the traffic in your home. This will keep your floors looking new and will lengthen the life of your floors by reducing the need to have them refinished.

--Our dustless refinishing service costs $3 to $5 a square foot. The actual cost is dependent on many factors like - stain color, total size, chosen finish, moving contents, and the number of appliances.

--Installation prices are dependent on many factors like the grade and species of the chosen hardwood, carpet or tile removal, sub-floor preparation, pre-finished or site-finished, and size. A complete site finished project with standard red or white oak will start around $7 a square foot. If you have purchased a pre-finished product and need a professional to install it, this starts around $2 a square foot.

--These prices are intended to provide our customers with an estimated price to complete these services, for an exact quote, please contact us today to have an estimator come out to your home.

How long does each service typically take?

--Top-Coat service takes less than a day with a 24 hour dry time
--Refinishing service takes 3-5 days depending on size, stain, and chosen finish
--We typically install 500 square feet each day
--Do not walk on your floors for 24 hours once the final coat has been applied
--Our estimator’s will provide a detailed timeline as part of the initial consultation

How many times can I have my floor refinished?

Opinions vary on this topic with answers ranging from a minimum of 4 times to a maximum of 12 times. Here is a list of key variables to consider.

--The type of floor you have, solid or engineered
--The skill of the person sanding the floor
--The type of equipment used
--The thickness of the remaining wear-layer
--The flatness of the floor

The NWFA has the following response to a similar question – “the heart pine floors in historic Bacon's Castle in Virginia are more than three centuries old and counting. Simple care and maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors need only to be re-finished every 10 - 15 years or 10 - 12 times during a floor's life.” - NWFA

Will my floor change color over time?

Whether finished or unfinished, wood changes color over time due to oxidation and exposure to light. Some species darken in color over time, while others lighten. Move your furniture and rugs occasionally to help standardize color variations.

How do I know if my floor needs to be refinished?

Find a high traffic area on your hardwood floors where the finish appears to be the most worn and pour a tablespoon of water onto the floor. If the water forms beads on the surface and you’re able to wipe it up, then the finish is still protecting your floor and you don’t need to have your floors refinished. If the water soaks into the wood, it’s time to have your floors refinished.

What types of hardwood products do you most commonly sell and can you provide the benefits for each type?

-Solid hardwood floors are one piece of wood from top to bottom. Solid floors can either be factory finished (pre-finished) or site finished (unfinished). Solid flooring gives you a great opportunity for customization. Your choice of hardwood species, stains and finishes all contribute to the personalization of a solid floor. This is an excellent choice in most areas of a home on the ground level or above.

-Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued on the top surface of the core and is available in almost any hardwood species. The product thus has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species and can be factory finished (pre-finished) or site finished (unfinished). The engineered products have been designed to provide greater stability, particularly where moisture or heat pose problems for solid hardwood floors.

Which is better, prefinished or unfinished?

The answer to this question obviously depends on the situation. Here are some guidelines to help you with your determination.

When pre-finished may work best
• Pre-finished wood works better in high traffic areas that receive heavy wear and tear    because the factory finish is more durable.
• If you want to avoid fumes and a big mess.
• Pre-finished floors are slightly less expensive to install than site finished hardwoods because there is less labor involved.
• Pre-finished floors are more tolerant to humidity changes.
• If you’re looking for a quick installation.

When unfinished may work best
• If you need “lace-in” or match to an existing floor.
• If you want to customize the stain color to match existing trim or cabinets.
• If you don’t like the look of the beveled edges of pre-finished.
• If you are looking for an unusual wood species or plank width.
• Unfinished flooring would be most appropriate if your home has historical significance or if you are trying to maintain the architectural integrity of it.

Where can I install hardwood floors in my home?

Pretty much anywhere except full bathrooms. If you are considering hardwoods in the basement, we strongly recommend an engineered product that is dimensionally stable and more resistant to potential moisture problems.

Why does my floor have cracks or gaps?

It is common for cracks to appear in floors, especially with wider planks, due to shrinkage and expansion over the year. Small cracks are not harmful to the floor and most will only appear seasonally due to changes in moisture levels. In order to reduce or eliminated the chances of getting cracks in your floor, make an effort to maintain a humidity level between 45% and 55% throughout the year. Air conditioning or a de-humidifier in the humid summer months and a humidifier during drier seasons helps to keep the humidity level more stable year round.

Why do my floors squeak and what can be done to fix this?

There's nothing more annoying than a squeaky floor. It’s not uncommon for hardwood floors to develop these squeaks at some point, especially if they are subjected to drastic humidity changes throughout the year. Wood expands and contracts with seasonal humidity changes and the nail holes also expand and contract. As we walk across the floors we may loosen the planks and they may begin to rub against one another, causing the squeaky noise. Most homes squeak more during the heating season, which tends to dry out and shrink the hardwood strips.

There can be other causes of squeaks, such as pipes or heating ducts that are loose and rubbing against the joists. Squeaks can usually be eliminated by “tightening up” the loose boards, pipes or ducts.

Fixing squeaks is best accomplished from below the floor. If we can access the floor joists from your basement or crawlspace, shims can be driven between the sub floor and joists to create a swelling at the spot that the squeak occurs. If the basement is finished, we typically shoot 2 inch finish nails through the floor diagonally to hold down the loose flooring.